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Last post Author Topic: Building a Desktop  (Read 6939 times)

Mizraim

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Building a Desktop
« on: March 06, 2013, 12:41:56 PM »
I haven't had the pleasure of building a desktop in many years, and this year I am going to do it for myself. Having been out of the game for such a long time, there are several things I don't feel 100% comfortable about proceeding with before getting some sound advice. I'm going to list my components here and I would like help knowing if the build will work with the PSU I am looking at buying, and will it all fit in the box?

http://goo.gl/RALrx - Processor
http://goo.gl/ekYSc - MotherBoard
http://goo.gl/wmJPQ - Memory
http://goo.gl/bC3nF - PSU
http://goo.gl/KyRlB - GPU
http://goo.gl/kj3My - 'Bling' Cooling Fans
http://goo.gl/YUPuY - Wireless IEEE 802.11ac
http://goo.gl/y8F1 - DVD Burner
http://goo.gl/Uumol - The Computer Chasis

I was trying to stay cheap, and this looks decent to me. I just don't know if the components are too much for my 550W PSU, or if the whole thing will fit in the chasis. Thank you!  :Thmbsup:

~Cheers,
Mizraim

Carol Haynes

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 01:17:18 PM »
Looks like a good collection.

Found the Wireless module a little alarming - how is a wireless n certified device going to deliver 1750Mbps or anything like it?

Even if it is capable of that (which I somewhat doubt) you are going to work hard to find a router that can support speeds like that!

Never used that PSU make before but for a similar price you could get a 750W Corsair PSU (see http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16817139040 ) and they are fantastic PSUs (but not modular).

How much memory do you plan to use? Chances are you will get better performance from matched pairs of memory sticks in the appropriate slots than one large stick. Make sure you buy a 'kit' or 'kits' to ensure they are matched pairs.

You need to check the maximum length of graphics card supported by the case and check the graphics card to make sure it fits. Try looking for reviews of the case - one of things usually picked up in reviews. This is the case I have and it has lots of space: http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16811119240 it also has 4 USB ports on the front (2 x USB 2 and 2 x USB 3) which is really handy. Looks fierce too as it has nice red LED fans - probably wouldn't need extra case fans. Having said that I bought a large CM fan to fit in the roof of the box with matching LEDs and it looks great and sucks air away from the CPU nicely. (One of these beasties: http://www.newegg.co...Item=N82E16835103072 )

Looks like a fun project - keep us posted (and some photos would be fun)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 01:25:25 PM by Carol Haynes »

40hz

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 01:33:07 PM »
Seems to hit the sweet spot in several places price/performance wise. Nice BOM. You obviously did your research.

Should be a very nice machine when you're finished.

+1 w/Carol on the wireless. Seems too good to be true - but wouldn't it be nice if I were wrong? ;D If you do go with one of those please be sure to keep us posted - because most of us here would grab one in a heartbeat if it even half lived up to the writing on the tin.

Luck! :Thmbsup:

kyrathaba

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2013, 02:02:05 PM »
I assume you're going to buy (or already have) one of the new AC routers, such as the RT-AC66U? If so, I'm with 40hz. I'd LOVE to know your experience in speed improvements.

Are you on a T3 line or something? Hard to imagine getting that kind of performance at home, unless you're on something rather more high-end than the average PC user/enthusiast.

40hz

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2013, 02:15:28 PM »
^Yeah agree - assuming your ISP allows for 1G connections on your WAN side. Most still max at 100M. And even then, until we're allowed an MTU setting above 1500 (which seems to be what they've decided internet connections are going to be kept to since 1500 bytes is also the largest packet allowed at the network layer) it's sort of moot anyway.

They really need to do a systematic overhaul of ethernet.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 02:26:50 PM by 40hz »

Mizraim

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2013, 02:37:13 PM »
The wireless adapter supports the new IEEE 802.11ac standard. And while I don't have the home equipment, or connection for that matter, I was hoping this could be an investment that is a little future proof. I am going to be purchasing the parts shortly. I appreciate all the feed back and I would love to post pictures of the components and the building process.  ;)

I appreciate the other suggestions, Carol. I've taken them into consideration, but haven't made a final decision yet. Either way, I will keep you posted.

~Cheers,
Mizraim


kyrathaba

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2013, 02:39:09 PM »
Nothing shabby, at all, with that intended build, Mizraim. If you discover from your ISP that you are limited, by their equipment supplying your connection, to max 100 Mbps, maybe go for a less expensive wifi adapter and upgrade the intended i5 CPU to an i7? Are you gonna max the memory out at 32 GB?  :D

40hz

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2013, 02:45:53 PM »
maybe go for a less expensive wifi adapter and upgrade the intended i5 CPU to an i7? Are you gonna max the memory out at 32 GB?

That would be awesome. An i7 with all that RAM? Talk about a virtual machine playground par excellence.

With sufficient RAM and an i7, why settle on having just one PC when you could run several at a time - all on the same hardware. ;D

kyrathaba

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2013, 02:56:49 PM »
Quote
With sufficient RAM and an i7, why settle on having just one PC when you could run several at a time - all on the same hardware.

Install ProxMox, then on top of that Win 7, Win 8, your favorite Linux distros, etc.

Deozaan

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2013, 02:58:51 PM »
I'd go for a cheaper WiFi adapter. Buy a wireless N card for $16 or $25 or whatever, and then in 5 years or so when you buy an AC router, buy a new Wireless AC card for about the same price. And you'll still be paying less than the $98 it costs now.

And with that extra money, maybe buy another stick of RAM.

As for the PSU--in 2011 when I built my PC, I was under the impression that you really don't need a whole lot of wattage, and that it was better to get a higher efficiency PSU (Gold or Platinum certified) with adequate wattage than a lower efficiency PSU with tons extra wattage.

The case says it supports most ATI/nVidia cards up to 32 cm, which is about 12.6 inches, and the GPU says it is only 8.3" long, so it should fit. The one thing I don't like about your case is that the hard drive bays are facing toward the motherboard. That means you might need to remove your CPU (or at least the fan if you get a big monster fan on your CPU) and RAM and GPU, etc., if you need to add or remove some drives in the future. That's annoying. Take a look at the case that Carol linked for an example of hard drive bays that face... er... outward? which allows you to easily add or remove them only by removing the side panel.

The DVD player is fine, but if you can find one for a similar price with free shipping, I'd go for it. (Actually it looks like it has a free shipping offer that ends tomorrow, so if you order it fast, it's good.)

And yeah, the i7 will cost you about $100 extra, but it will allow you to do some fun things with virtual machines, if you'd like. I used to run a Minecraft server VM entirely on RAM disk. And I could boot up various Linux VMs (or even Windows XP) without affecting system performance in the slightest. :Thmbsup:


kyrathaba

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2013, 03:06:13 PM »
Quote
...Buy a wireless N card for $16 or $25 or whatever, and then in 5 years or so when you buy an AC router, buy a new Wireless AC card for about the same price...the i7 will cost you about $100 extra, but it will allow you to do some fun things with virtual machines.

+1.

wraith808

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2013, 03:06:34 PM »
What do you usually use the machine for?  Just wondering before I chime in. :)

Mizraim

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2013, 04:05:44 PM »
I decided to go with Carol's case (thank you!) after reading about the design of the case I had originally picked out, and the comments by Deozaan. :Thmbsup: After looking at the comparison on Newegg of both the i5-3770k and i7-3770k, it's really worth the $100 to upgrade, rather than spend $300 later to upgrade, so I'll most likely do that. Right now I'm looking at putting in 16GB RAM, 2 8GB sticks, with the possibility of upgrading to 32 later.

I intend to build a machine capable of running most of the games that have come out recently 2011-current: Tomb Raider, BattleField 3, Saints Row: The Third, etc. Also, I plan on using it to program in the Unity 3D engine. I think it should be sufficient for that. So, lets hear those thoughts, wraith808.  :)

I also just want to add a big thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. I've taken all of your opinions and suggestions to heart.

~Cheers


Carol Haynes

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 04:17:21 PM »
It's a nice case (with teeth) and a pleasure to build with. Enjoy!

Treat yourself to as much memory as you can cram in! I think if you shop around you should be able to do better on price than the one you indicated.

What about http://www.amazon.co...600C10/dp/B0068ZWZY0

a little saving and you know they are matched.

wraith808

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2013, 04:54:25 PM »
That case is a good choice- I went with the Storm Scout, and I haven't regretted it.  I'd prefer that one, but I think the differences between the two are a personal choice.

If you want to be able to run everything for a while, I'd recommend upgrading from the HD7770.  It's a solid choice, but it's the bare minimum with the latest architecture (a couple of good reviews here and here).  I'd recommend spending the extra if you can and going with the 7870 (comparison).  I speak from experience, because I was in the same boat a couple of years ago with a $150 range card vs a $250 range card.  I'm still running it, but I'm finding it just adequate after 2 years (my cards and comparisons)

The extra $100 would have pushed my rig up a bit in price.  But now I wonder if I'd be more satisfied now with that expenditure earlier.

Moving on, I totally agree on the wireless with everyone else.  I had the same concerns- and I'd give you a bit from what I learned there also; unless your computer is far away from your router, I'd look at wired.  even if it is far away, I'd still look at wired, and power over ethernet.  Both of those have served me a lot better than wireless.

The power supply and memory- I think Carol has that covered, and I'd totally agree with her assessments personally.  And her last statements on price are right on, also.

40hz

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2013, 05:28:48 PM »
I'd still look at wired, and power over ethernet.  Both of those have served me a lot better than wireless.

+1 on both points. My mantra has always been: wired if you can, wireless if you must. Especially if it's a non-mobie workstation. And especially now that ethernet over power wiring (or 'powerline networking') is both workable and affordable.

----------------

@wraith - PoE? I think you meant EoP this time didn't you? :P

----------------

@Miz - re: Graphics cards - I sometimes think it's a waste to worry too much about future-proofing your GPU since the technology evolves so rapidly that no matter what you buy today, you'll wish you had the money to get something else a year from now.

So since the GPU is one of the easiest things to swap out, I'm more inclined to re-alocate any money I find for a new build to the things that can't be most easily changed, such as the CPU or mobo. After that I go for what gives me the most bang-for-the-buck overall performance-wise; or, that adds additional capabilities - like more easily supporting multiple VMs. That (to me) means maxing out the RAM first, and then going for a better GPU.

But I'm also not a heavy duty gamer. I like games, but I don't need this week's bleeding-edge masterpiece to have fun. And most of what I do enjoy isn't the latest or the greatest by a long shot. So your priorities and expectations may be different than mine. And rightly so if they are...
 :)


Carol Haynes

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2013, 06:57:32 PM »
I too would prefer gigabit ethernet to wifi -esp. for a desktop. If you are too far from the router or is too inconvenient you can get gigabit powerline networking now, but to be honest 200mbps or 500mps are more than enough for most purposes.

kyrathaba

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2013, 07:30:55 PM »
+1 for connecting to your router via ethernet cable. When I switched out my wifi-dongle and plugged in directly, my speed went from a variable 30-54 Mbps to a stable 100 Mbps (using a Linksys RangePlus WRT-110 router).

wraith808

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2013, 09:25:14 PM »
@wraith - PoE? I think you meant EoP this time didn't you?

Whoops.  Yes.  :-[

@Miz - re: Graphics cards - I sometimes think it's a waste to worry too much about future-proofing your GPU since the technology evolves so rapidly that no matter what you buy today, you'll wish you had the money to get something else a year from now.

So since the GPU is one of the easiest things to swap out, I'm more inclined to re-alocate any money I find for a new build to the things that can't be most easily changed, such as the CPU or mobo. After that I go for what gives me the most bang-for-the-buck overall performance-wise; or, that adds additional capabilities - like more easily supporting multiple VMs. That (to me) means maxing out the RAM first, and then going for a better GPU.

But I'm also not a heavy duty gamer. I like games, but I don't need this week's bleeding-edge masterpiece to have fun. And most of what I do enjoy isn't the latest or the greatest by a long shot. So your priorities and expectations may be different than mine. And rightly so if they are...

If I hadn't just gone through this (and wasn't also a heavy duty gamer), then I'd probably agree with you.  But having done it, I can say that as he already has a pretty good MB and CPU, the biggest bang for his buck is going to be taking that $100 step.

tomos

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2013, 06:20:02 AM »
Do those led fans flicker?
Tom

Carol Haynes

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2013, 09:56:14 AM »
Do those led fans flicker?

If you mean my red LEDs no - they are steady (apart from HD activity LED)

40hz

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2013, 11:10:16 AM »
If I hadn't just gone through this (and wasn't also a heavy duty gamer), then I'd probably agree with you.  But having done it, I can say that as he already has a pretty good MB and CPU, the biggest bang for his buck is going to be taking that $100 step.

 ;D Agree. It's always more cost effective to bump your GPU budget from $200 to $350 than it is to buy a $200 card only to scrap it a year later and then drop an additional $350 on the card you wished you originally bought.

So yes...after getting the best CPU you can justify, and after matching it to an appropriate mobo...and after installing 8Gb of RAM...I'd definitely put the money into a better GPU if I were a gamer.

Additional RAM over 8Gb could easily be added later should it ever be needed. (And for normal gaming use, it definitely wouldn't.)
 :)
 

f0dder

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2013, 11:46:15 AM »
Are you going for 1x8gig stick? I'd personally go for 2x4 instead - cheaper to replace if one goes bust (not to mention if one goes bust, you can run your system at 4gig while you're waiting for a new stick). ((Ok, so I personally went for 4x4, but if the choice was 1x8 or 2x4... :)).

I also wouldn't go for the wireless - but that's mostly because I've never had great success with it, wired plain old works and is cheap, and if the new ├╝bercharged wireless matures, it's going to be cheaper then. Often not a very good idea to be a tech first mover.

Dunno about GPU - haven't researched the market for a while, but I've been burned enough by bad AMD/ATi drivers (and noisy fans) that it'd take some convincing. And they still don't support PhysX, do they?

Why are you going for the *K CPU? OK, on the i5 you get HD4000 graphics instead of HD2000 (whereas on i7 you get HD4000 on both), but are you going to utilize that? You miss out on VT-d and trusted execution on the *K model, those might be more interesting in the long run.

As for power, you don't really need all that much. Unfortunately I lost the power readings I did on my current right (Corsair TX550M PSU, ASUS P8Z77-V PRO, i7-3770, 4x4gig Corsair DDR3-1600, Intel 520 SSD, WD 2.5" 300gig 10k-rpm velociraptor, Gigabyte 1gig GTX460), but I think it's somewhere along the lines of 50-70W idle? And I weren't able to push it to 300W even while maxing out both the GPU and the CPU. Go for something with decent cable management, low noise, and stable voltages (Be Quiet! and Corsair has some decent models - but do a lot of studying, stable CPU voltages is going keep your motherboard happy). Oh, and decent PSUs also mean less power drain, under load as well as idle (and the so-called "power-off", which really isn't unless you flip the switch on the PSU or the wall socket).

EDIT: I mostly went with that particular motherboard (over a cheaper micro-atx one) because it has onboard Intel NIC - having had bad experiences with other brands in the past. It also has onboard wifi, which was helpful when assembling the system. Wasn't really necessary, though - the i5 system on my new server has realteak or whatever, and I easily saturate the gigabit connection between them. And micro-atx boards might use a bit less power than full-sized ones? (A bit hard to make direct comparisons because the boards tend to have relatively different feature sets :)).
- carpe noctem

Carol Haynes

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2013, 12:04:49 PM »
Dunno about GPU - haven't researched the market for a while, but I've been burned enough by bad AMD/ATi drivers (and noisy fans) that it'd take some convincing. And they still don't support PhysX, do they?

Not had many problems with ATI/AMD drivers (far fewer than I had with nVidia on my last system). There were a few dodgy Catalyst releases early in version 12 but verion 13 seems rock steady to me.

Not really surprising that they don't support PhysX since it belongs to nVidia. Can't say I have found a game that seems to suffer from not having it and strangely I have it installed (seems to be a requirement for some games weven though they don't use it!!!).

f0dder

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Re: Building a Desktop
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2013, 12:07:37 PM »
There were a few dodgy Catalyst releases early in version 12 but verion 13 seems rock steady to me.
I've had really nasty BSODs that resulted in pretty nasty data corruption - granted, that's quiiiite a few years ago, but that kind of thing leaves an impact. It's also not too long ago that you couldn't do system-wide DEP because the AMD/ATi drivers were crap (that'd give you wonderful BSODs too). While the situation might be OK now, it just doesn't give me a lot of confidence in their software engineers.

Can't say I have found a game that seems to suffer from not having it and strangely I have it installed (seems to be a requirement for some games weven though they don't use it!!!).
I prefer having it and not using it (goes for CUDA too), compared to not having it and not being able to run something that wants it :-)
- carpe noctem